This past long weekend my parents, brother and I hung out in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. The parents had been there since Monday and Erich since Thursday, but I drove the 6 hours there on Friday morning. It made me love my car even more than I already did. I felt like a low horsepower James Bond whipping around those mountain curves! Except for when there were any other cars on the road, in which cases I was a total nerve case.
On Friday, we just hung around the house and ate food and played DUROK – kind of like Russian HORSE but with cards and not basketballs – and just relaxed. I drank a couple of vodka-orangina mixed drinks. You know, the usual.
On Saturday, we took the drive to Dolly Sods. About 17 or so years ago, we tried to do the same thing. My dad hadn’t done enough preparation and set out without a plan or good directions. What resulted was a bumpy, twisty road and 6 kids between the ages of 7 and 11 barfing. Scratch that: 5 kids. I was the only one who didn’t barf because I’m tough. Needless to say, we never made it to Dolly Sods or went hiking. Which is too bad, because when my dad successfully drove us there on Saturday, it looked like this:
We went hiking through the Boreal Forest, not quite far enough to get a view of Canaan Valley, but far enough to dip my feet into some mud and see a beautiful trail. Then we went and had some pizza, came home, built a fire in the outdoor fire pit, sat out there for about a half hour until it started raining, then went inside and played some more DUROK and drank some more before bed.
On Sunday morning, I drove the 6.5 hours home – I went a different route which, in addition to having fewer mountains and more traffic, took longer – and managed to roll into Chapel Hill like 3 minutes after Osiris arrived back from his trip to Virginia. Perfect.